- Aims to have 10,000 such entrepreneurs by end-2016
- Working with non-profit Women’s Aid Organisation
GARENA Online-backed C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace operator Shopee Mobile Malaysia Sdn Bhd has set aside RM1 million (about US$250,000) to help mothers become entrepreneurs.
According to Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho, there are three barriers that ‘mompreneurs’ face in starting an online business.
These are the high cost structure, insufficient knowledge on how to sell online, and lack of marketing exposure.
“With the extension of our free shipping programme, expansion of Shopee University, and increased marketing efforts, we hope to have 10,000 mompreneurs on Shopee by end-2016,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Kuala Lumpur on June 28.
Ho said that Shopee Malaysia is collaborating with the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), a non-profit organisation that provides counselling and shelter for abused women and their children, to support mothers who want to start their own online business.
“We hope that this collaboration with WAO can show that everyone and anyone can be an entrepreneur on Shopee,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ho said that Shopee’s free shipping programme that was launched earlier this month has been well-received by sellers.
“After we launched it, we saw an additional of 20,000 sellers on our platform,” he claimed, adding that the programme has been extended from June 30 to July 31.
The free shipping programme is available for all Shopee users but is only applicable for deliveries via the PosLaju service operated by Pos Malaysia, with Shopee subsidising up to RM8 (US$1.97) and RM11 (US$2.71) for the delivery of items to West and East Malaysia, respectively.
Speaking on the Shopee University, Ho said the syllabus for the Malaysian market is somewhat similar to the one in Singapore, with three tiers: Beginner, advanced and expert.
“The beginner stage would be how to use and sell on Shopee, while the more advanced stages will include mentorship by Shopee professional trainers, including ways to tailor local Facebook and Google Ads.
“We will even be working with national courier Pos Malaysia to educate sellers on how to pack items properly before shipping them out to buyers,” he said.
Ho (pic) said Pos Malaysia has also agreed to let Shopee use post offices across Malaysia to organise classes for its sellers.
“Previously, we were only conducting one or two classes per month, and they have been restricted to the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang,” he said.
“But in July, we’re going to increase the number of classes to between three and six per month across all states,” he added.
Shopee now operates its C2C marketplaces in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It has seen over 13 million downloads of its app, and there are more than 26 million product listings across all these sites, according to Ho.
“In Malaysia alone, we have over one million users and one million product listings on our platform,” he said.
When asked about plans to monetise the platform, his answer was, “Naturally, but it won’t be this year.”
“Right now it’s all about customer service, and building the platform and the ecosystem,” he added.
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